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Showing posts from April, 2019

How To Be An Open Leader

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Open Leadership author Charlene Li reminds leaders to periodically ask themselves these "open leadership skills assessment" questions:
Do I seek out and listen to different points of view?Do I make myself available to people at all levels of the organization?Do I actively manage how I am authentic?Do I encourage people to share information?Do I publicly admit when I am wrong?Do I update people regularly?Do I take the time to explain how decisions are being made?Thanks for these great questions, Charlene!

Eight Ways To Value Your Employees

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There are eight specific actions business leaders can take to show that they value their employees, according to Andrew Leigh, author of the book, Ethical Leadership -- Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Business Culture.

Those eight behaviors are: Attention -- Pay attention to what people say to show your interest.Listen -- Make time to hear what colleagues, peers and employees have to say to show you care.Positive Language -- Find words and phrases to show employees they're needed.  Examples are, "We couldn't have accomplished this without you," "That was really useful."Document -- Put praise in writing to increase its impact.  Make clear where the credit belongs.Micro Sessions -- Create two-way communication sessions.Visits -- Schedule visits to teams and work areas.Stories -- Share stories that highlight unusual contributions and provide your personal response to them.Invite -- Ask people to contact you directly with their issues and concerns -- not to …

Use TIPS When Providing Feedback

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Eric Harvey and Al Lucia wrote a booklet called, 144 Ways To Walk The Talk. They provide the following great advice about giving feedback:
1. Make it timely -- give your feedback as soon as possible to the performance.
2. Make it individualized -- tailor your feedback to the feedback receiver.
3. Make it productive -- focus your feedback on the performance and not the performer.
4. Make is specific -- pinpoint for the receiver observable actions and behaviors.

How To Find Your Balance Point

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A few years ago, Brian Tracy, along with Christina Stein, published, Find Your Balance Point.

"The desire for peace of mind and the idea of living a balanced life are central to your happiness and well-being. When you start to live your life in balance with the very best person you could possibly be, you will enjoy the happiness you deserve and experience harmony among all the elements that make up a successful life for you, as you define it," explain the authors.

The book teaches you how to identify you balance point, move to it at will, and automatically return to it whenever you want.

"You need to establish your balance point before you can set and achieve the goals that are important to you," explains Tracy.

The starting point is to develop absolute clarity about who you are and what matters to you. This means you much be clear about your values.


Then, chapter by chapter, Tracy and Stein take you through:
Creating your vision and how to be powered by clarityCon…

Highlights From The Book Leadership Conversations

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When I read business books, I turn the corner of every page that has something I really like, want to remember and easily reference in the future.

Halfway into the 300-page book, Leadership Conversations, I had turned the corners of nearly every fifth page. So, you can see why I believe this is such a good book. There is so much to learn from Leadership Conversations. It's a must read for today's business leaders. Leaders who are leading multi-generational workforces. And, leaders who want the skills to get promoted and move up the corporate ladder.

Authors Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz wrote the book because they believe that a leader's most powerful skill is the ability to hold effective conversations.

So, in their book, they detail the four types of conversations every leader must effectively master.  Conversations that: Build relationshipsDevelop othersMake decisionsTake action And, they provide real-world examples and tactical guidance for each of those conversat…

Seven Things Motivated People Do To Stay Motivated

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To learn how to stay motivated, read High-Profit Prospecting, by Mark Hunter. It's a powerful read that includes counter intuitive advice and cutting-edge best practices for sales prospecting in today's business world.

Today, I share one of my favorite sections of the book where Hunter describes his seven things motivated people do to stay motivated:
Motivated people ignore voices in their lives. These might be people in the office and friends who have bad attitudes. They're out there, and if you're not careful, they'll control you, too.Motivated people associate with highly motivated people. Just as there are negative people in the world, there are also positive people. Your job is to make sure you spend as much time with the positive people as possible. Motivated people simply look for the positive in things. Positive people count it an honor to live each day, learn from others, and impact positively those they meet. Positive people take great satisfaction in hel…

Leading Versus Managing

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In his book, Getting To "Yes And": The Art of Business Improv, author Bob Kulhan reminds us of the important difference between leadership and management.

"I'd suggest that the act of managing focuses strictly on strategic thinking at its most practical -- on execution. Managing is taking care of logistical and practical details," says Kulhan. "The real problem arises when anyone confuses the managing of job-specific details with actual leadership. One does not need to be a visionary to qualify as a leader, but leadership does imply vision from a position of oversight," explains Kulhan.

He further shares, "Managing is part of leading, and a great leader can and should be an excellent manager. The skill of managing, though, is only one part of leading, and managing in and of itself is not leading."

Finally, Kulhan says that "a good leader communicates on a broader, higher level. A leader drives for results, leads by example, and develops ta…

How To Identify And Develop Emerging Talent

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From the book, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change, comes this useful checklist from author H. James Dallas for how to identify and develop emerging talent in your company/organization.

Dallas recommends that each question should be graded on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being the best. Use the questions and the scoring for you and your employee to work together toward the highest ratings across the board.
Has the person demonstrated a "getting lost with confidence" mind-set?Does the person communicate with authenticity?Has the person created a strong personal brand that is recognized by colleagues of all levels?Does the person know his or her blind spots and have people watching to prevent him or her from crashing?Is the person getting exposure to executive management?Does the person seek out and seriously consider advice?Is the person building an inclusive team and sponsoring others?Is the person proactive in finding opportunities to initiate and lead change?

Regularly Ask Your Employees These Six Questions

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As explained in John Baldoni's, book,Lead With PurposeMarshall Goldsmith suggests all leaders make it a habit to regularly ask their employees these six questions: Where do you think we should be going?Where do you think you and your part of the business should be going?What do you think you're doing well?If you were the leader, what ideas would you have for you?How can I help?What suggestions or ideas do you have for me?

How To Build Trust

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You can't lead if your employees, team or followers don't trust you.

Building trust takes energy, effort and constant attention to how you act.

To help build trust, follow these 16 tips, recommended by author Susan H. Shearouse:
Be honestKeep commitments and keep your wordAvoid surprisesBe consistent with your moodBe your bestDemonstrate respectListenCommunicateSpeak with a positive intentAdmit mistakesBe willing to hear feedbackMaintain confidencesGet to know othersPractice empathySeek input from othersSay "thank you"

Today's Leadership Quote

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"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -- Winston Churchill

13 Energizing Verbs To Use More Often

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From the book, Anticipate, the Art of Leading by Looking Ahead, by Rob-Jan De Jong, here are 13 energizing verbs the author recommends we use more often:
Discover(instead of See)Explore(instead of Discuss)Radiate(instead of Display)Uncover(instead of Show)Transform(instead of Change)Engage (instead of Involve)Mobilize(instead of Gather)Stretch(instead of Develop)Boost(instead of Increase)Propel (instead of Move)Deliver(instead of Give)Grasp(instead of Understand)Connect(instead of Join) Great advice, indeed!

How To Project A Professional Image

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From Jay Miletsky's book, 101 Ways to Successfully Market Yourself, here 10 tips for projecting an effective professional image:
Discipline yourself to be positive and enthusiastic.In tense situations choose positive responses by maintaining perspective and getting along well with others.Acknowledge mistakes and shortcomings and learn how to correct them.Develop a reputation for being a resourceful problems solver.Leverage your strengths and expertise to have maximum impact on the decisions you make.Be organized, efficient, flexible, and self-motivated.Master your tasks and fully expand your area of expertise so that you can boost your output.Keep up with the latest developments in your company and in your field.Cultivate unique talents that give you a definite edge.Gain visibility by taking the kind of action that will propel you into the right sights of management personnel.

How To Listen And Learn As A Leader

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In John Baldoni's bookThe Leader's Guide to Speaking with Presence, he provides these tips for listening as a leader and learning as a leader:

When Listening As ALeader: Look at people when they are speaking to you. Make eye contact.Ask open-ended questions, such as "Tell me about..." or "Could you explain this?"Consider the "what if" question:  "What if we looked at the situation like this?"Leverage the "why" question:  "Why do we do it this way?"Employ the "how" question:  "How can you do this?"When Learning As A Leader: Reflect on what people have told you.Think about what you have not observed.  Are people holding back?  If so, why?Consider how you can implement what you have observed.Get back to people who have suggested ideas to you and thank them.Look for opportunities to collaborate with others. For 20-plus years, Baldoni has coached and consulted for a number of leading companies in a vari…

The Power Of Five Percent More

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“Making small changes to reach big goals is the answer,” says entrepreneur and bestselling author Michael Alden in his book, 5% MORE: Making Small Changes To Achieve Extraordinary Results. “If you just put 5% more effort into any aspect of your life, you will not only achieve your goals, you will surpass them,” he explains. 
“Far too often, people become paralyzed when they want to improve their lives, because the effort to reach their goals seems overwhelming,” adds Alden. “Or the opposite occurs. They decide to dive into something one hundred percent, but then quickly lose steam.”
Therefore, Alden demonstrates that long-lasting success is based on small increases in effort. “Five percent is almost unnoticeable in terms of effort—but it accrues quickly, with each step boosting the baseline,” he declares.
Although much of Alden’s advice is based on personal experience, observation, and common sense, he is careful to discuss the studies and research that support his ideas throughout the b…

How To Say I'm Sorry

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One of the most difficult words for anyone, leaders included, to say is, "sorry."
Yet, the time will likely come when that's the word you need to say. Research shows that apologizing in a heartfelt way can help you reduce stress and alleviate guilt.
In the position of needing to apologize?  Do this: Apologize immediately. Say you are sorry.Take responsibility for the situation.Acknowledge the offense.Ask forgiveness with a promise that it won't happen again.Offer restitution whenever possible.And, should your apology go unaccepted, most experts say forgive yourself and move on.
Note: Thanks to St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City, MO for this sound advice.

How To Spot A Leader During A Job Interview

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The next time you are interviewing a candidate and you want to access their leadership skills, consider asking the candidate these questions: What personal qualities define you as a leader?  Describe a situation when these qualities helped you lead others.Give an example of when you demonstrated good leadership.What is the toughest group from which you've had to get cooperation?Have you ever had difficulty getting others to accept your ideas?  What was your approach?  Did it work?Describe a situation in which you had to change your leadership style to achieve the goal?One leadership skill is the ability to accommodate different views in the workplace, regardless of what they are.  What have you done to foster a wide number of views in your work environment?Thanks to Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential HR Handbook, for these helpful questions!

How To Make Better Decisions

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The book, The Decision Makeoever, by Mike Whitaker presents a fascinating look at decision making and the importance of decision size and timing.
As you read the book, you'll gain a better understanding of: The power of decisionsWhy we make bad decisionsHow to deal with bad decisionsHow to deal with regretHow to take control of decision makingHow goals and decisions can help each otherPerhaps the most significant part of the book is the author's perspective on goals. "Knowing your goals is the key to making good decisions," says Whitaker. "Because goals and decision-making are so intimately intertwined."
Therefore, he advises that you: Keep a few key goals close: Choice five prime goals and stay focused on them.Decide which goal is top priority and always give it favorable treatment when making decisions.Know that when a decision overlaps a prime goal, it becomes a prime decision. And, prime decisions are to be treated with more care because these will signific…

Missions Statements Had Better Not Be All About Money

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From the book, Light A Fire Under Your Business:

A clear and concise mission statement defines, in the simplest terms, your organization's core reason for being, and it had better not be all about money.

Money is definitely important to most of society, and it is a motivator.

But many people aspire to be part of something  more meaningful than just a paycheck. They want a paycheck that is also connected to a culture that offers greater intrinsic values.

Four Daily Questions For Leaders

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I'm a big fan of the magazine, Experience Life. Particularly the Perspective column from a few years ago, written by Bahram Akradi, the founder and CEO of Life Time Fitness.

Akradi tackled self-reflection awhile back. He firmly believes the business model that if you aren't innovating you are dying. And, to innovate, you have to regularly fine-tune both your business and your life.

What better way to do that than to ask yourself each day these four questions, says Akradi:
Where did I do some good or make some progress today?Where did I let myself or others down?What can I do to keep my good habits going?What can I do to address any negative triggers or trends before they get out of hand? Thanks Bahram for this great advice. And, thanks for a great a great business, health, fitness and quality-of-life magazine.

How To Find The Right Work For You

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In Brian Tracy's book, Find Your Balance Point, he shares this helpful list of the seven indicators of the right work for you and the career where you will feel fully engaged and where you will be the happiest in serving other people:
The right work for you is something that you really enjoy doing; something that you love to do.The right work for you is easy for you to learn and easy to do. In many cases, you learned it automatically, without thought or effort.You love learning more and more about the work if it is the right work for you.When you are engrossed in this work, the hours fly past. You forget what time it is, and later you are surprised to see how much time has passed.The right work for you gives you energy when you are doing it. You can spend hours at this work, often forgetting to eat.If it is the right work for you, you want to be excellent at it, and you are constantly striving to learn and improve in that area.If it is the right work for you, you admire the top pe…

How To Reduce Your Employee Turnover Rate

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Knowing why an employee leaves your company can help you to reduce your employee turnover rate.

That's because you can use the reasons a departing employee provides to gather information about processes, people and departments that might need some redirection to correct situations that may have contributed to the employee's reasons for leaving.

So, do an exit interview whenever possible with each departing employee. Ask each person:
Why they are leavingWhat they liked about their jobWhat they would have changed about their jobHow they felt about the cooperation level among co-workersHow they felt about communication and interaction with co-workersWhether they received the necessary training to do their jobWhether they received frequent coaching and balanced feedback from their supervisorWould they recommend a friend apply for work at your companyHow they felt about their payHow they would describe the morale in the company and in their departmentWhat they would change about th…

Nine Lies About Work

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I'm a big fan of Marcus Buckingham's work, teachings and books, so I was eager to read his latest book, co-authored by Ashley Goodall, and released today.
Titled, Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World, the book debunks what we've come to believe as basic truths in the workplace. What at first may seem provocative and counter-intuitive, you'll learn why the nine lies "cause dysfunction and frustration, ultimately resulting in workplaces that are a pale shadow of what they could be," explain the authors.
Keep an open-mind as Buckingham and Goodall take you through these nine lies (each a chapter in the book) with engaging stories and incisive analysis as they reveal the essential truths behind these lies: People care which company they work forThe best plan winsThe best companies cascade goalsThe best people are well-roundedPeople need feedbackPeople can reliably rate other peoplePeople have potentialWork-life balance matters…